I am halfway through my internship with Mission to the World in Cape Town South Africa. These past six months have been a roller coaster ride of joys and sorrows, as well as a time where I have been able to seek God’s call in my life and know that this is it.
Being away from my family during that first month here was tough, I cried most days, but the more I got to know people and the more busy I became with ministry the more I started to feel at home. I have made wonderful godly friends who push me more to seek God’s face in all that I do, and I have for the first time felt content in the work that God has given me.
As Luke writes in Chapter 9 of his book that there is a cost to following Christ. I have experienced a minute part of that. I have missed the weddings of dear friends. I have missed the babies of friends being born. I have missed family events. But I have gained so much as well.
I have fallen in love not only with my work and this beautiful city but also with a wonderful South African man, Gary Isaacs. Gary is a student here at the Bible Institute of South Africa, where I have been living these past months. He graduates the end of November and hopes to become an Interim Pastor of his home church here in Cape Town. He also has a big heart for the children and youth of his local community in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town.
Before Gary and I started dating I contacted MTW about returning to Cape Town for an extended period, because it felt so right here. I knew that I was where God wanted me. MTW was shocked because they told me I should be experiencing culture shock and be home sick. But I think I got all of my home sickness out during the first month, and I really I felt at home here. God is truly good, and has made it evident that this is where He wants me to be by blessing me with Gary and with incredible ministry opportunities.
My ministries have had some interesting moments these past six months; times when I just wanted to cry and time when I wanted to cry out of complete JOY. This month has been no exception. My ministry at Joshua Children’s Mission is going well. I love those kids and they will, by the end of the term, have learned 12 Bible Verses, and learned many great stories in the Bible. My Wednesday Bible Study has been tough. The girls who attend are very closed up and afraid of speaking. They don’t want to be laughed at so they don’t want to really talk. In this Bible study I have two “gangs” of girls. They don’t like each other and I am trying hard to help them see each other as friends not enemies. Two of the girls got into a fist fight a couple of weeks ago after Bible Study. That was a BIG faith challenge for me; I have never been good with confrontation. Carol, the director’s wife, told me that she would talk to the girls if I wanted her to. I personally really wanted her to, but I knew that it was my ministry and my responsibility. I pray that the issue is resolved but in this type of community hatred is running rampant so it sometimes feels impossible to break down the barriers; the only one who can break those barriers is God. But God has given me a glimpse of hope though; I have seen progress in one of the girls; at 16, She is the Oldest. She has a beautiful one year old daughter who was conceived out of rape, and even through the hardship of the conception, Gayle is a wonderful mother who wants only the best for her family. She works very hard in school and at home, not only taking care of her baby but her Grandmother and baby sister. Gayle asked me if I would pray for her daughter, that she would grow up and have a personal relationship with the Lord because she knows how important that is, so I ask all of you to lift this little girl up to our heavenly Father and ask him to take her as his child.
Another fun blessing in my work schedule has been taking a 12 year old boy to art class every Monday afternoon. Art has always been a joy in my life so I was excited about this opportunity. I noticed soon after working at Joshua Children’s Mission that he was talented and that with training he could be very good. Carol and Greg felt the same so they asked an art school if they would take him and they agreed. It is a joy to be able to take him each Monday. We get to chat about his day and I am working on a good relationship with him. I must admit it makes me a little jealous that he gets to be taking these art classes; it makes me want to pull out my creativity once again!
Through my ups and my downs these past six months I have seen God’s hand in all my ministries and my daily walk with him. I Praise our Heavenly Father for blessing me with wonderful, faithful supporters who are my faithful prayer warriors.
A child of the KING,
1. Pray for the dynamic with the girls in my Bible Study. Pray that God will soften their hearts and teach them how to love one another.
2. Pray for Gary and my relationship, that the Lord will grow us more in HIS love and teach us how to love each other through his love. And that neither of our ministries are hindered by our relationship.
3. Pray for all the students who are finishing up the School year the end of November first of December. Pray that they will pass their finals and be able to advance to the next level of school.
4. Pray for me as I prepare my different lessons throughout the week and how to minister effectively to the Children that I am with 5 days a week.
5. Pray that Greg and Carol Karsten will find someone to replace me at Joshua Children’s Mission come the First of March as I am to return to the States.